Last modified on July 26, 2007, at 06:19

Debate:Was the European colonization of the Americas good for the native people?

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Do you mean the countless millions of dead ones or the handful who survived and were put into the "ghettos" we like to call "reservations?"--Eastfernstreet 15:05, 26 May 2007 (EDT)

The European colonists brought Christianity to the Americas and ended the Central American practice of human sacrifice. --Ed Poor 05:22, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

I wonder how many people were killed to achieve this (latter) laudable aim? BrianCo 05:32, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

They sensibly replaced it with the human sacrifice to the concept of justice (capital punishment). The improvement here is that efforts are often made to avoid sacrificing innocent individuals. Thus the blood-lust of the population could be nurtured without arbitary victimisation of innocents. Auld Nick 05:28, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

North American Indians did not practice human sacrifice. Poblano 10:45, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

Yes, it was definitely good for the natives. Look at how they lived before Europeans came to America. They lived in tepees and were practically naked all the time. Wouldn't you want help if you were in that situation? Thanks to our colonial ancestors, native people now have a much higher quality of life due to casinos, yet are still able to maintain some of their old ways on their reservations. It is the duty of civilized peoples to raise their inferiors up from savagery. Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden" comes to mind:

Take up the White Man’s burden—
Send forth the best ye breed—
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild—
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.

--Conservateur 14:12, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

I sincerly hope that the above opinion is not serious, and if it is, that it is not the opinion of the majority of contributors on this site. What a shame.Jnl001 19:49, 22 May 2007 (EDT)

I'm hopeing this is a Devils advocate posting or one based on sheerignorance of history and contemporary life in Indian Country, because it is one of the most racist, bigotted things I've read in a long time. Maybe this is what the next round of media articles about Conservapedia will focus on. I can see the headlies now. "New Wiki becomes bastion of skinheads and American Nazis"--Third Day 09:58, 23 May 2007 (EDT)

I don't really see how one could argue otherwise. The Europeans taught the Indians that it was wrong to kill each other in the name of their false gods (instead, we killed them in the name of our real god), and taught them Christianity (or killed them...either one worked). It is unfortunate that many were killed by diseases, but at least their souls were saved. And I agree with Conservateur's point that the whites improved their living conditions immensely. JBT 02:36, 2 June 2007 (EDT)


JBT, who are you to say whose gods are false and whose gods are true? If people who follow different gods, and people who disbelieve in all gods would just agree to disagree then we'd all be a lot happier! --Eyupdutch 10:16, 28 June 2007 (EDT)


Am I allowed to argue on both sides? I don't think this is a black and white issue.

If the reports of "smallpox blankets" and Caribbean slavery are true, then Columbus took advantage of several thousand native Americans. Also, I've heard that the native population was reduced 90% by European colonists - presumably through conquest and starvation. --Ed Poor 05:37, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

I'm not sure what the point of this debate is, the question seems bit of a Trojan Horse, but I would imagine that those who survived would say no. Bringing disease, alcohol and superior firepower to wipe many of them out, then settling their land out can hardly be a good thing from their point of view. Hopefully a few of them will respond here. Of course from the colonists' point of view everything has turned out pretty good. Also European colonization of the Americas covers a very wide range of incomers and indigenous peoples so there can be no simple answer. BrianCo 05:45, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

No. Just look at the Trail of Tears and the Wounded Knee Massacre. I don't think after the North American Indians (who did NOT practice human sacrifice) who surivived mass slaughter, deportation, the rape of their women, the capture of their land, the deliberate and inadvertant spread of disease were thinking: and they brought us Christianity! What benevolent people! Poblano 10:45, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

My God. I cannot believe that anyone is so historically ignorant that they even could ask such a question. Let’s put it this way: If invaders raped your women, forced their religion on you, stole your land, and exposed your people to diseases that resulted in population loss of 90%, would you be OK with that? I did not think so. White man’s burden? Who asked for your help? We were just fine until you jackasses showed up.--Davyjones 14:30, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

I hate to ruin your liberal-taught preconceived ideas of how America was colonized, but you have been grossly misinformed. There was not nearly as much raping going on as is claimed by anti-European groups. And for the most part, at least in North America, land was not stolen. It was bought by the British/US governments from tribal leaders, but some of the tribe members refused to leave and had to be evicted or killed. And don't pretend like native tribes were having one big peacefest prior to the arrival of Europeans. The fact is that tribes had been at war with each other for centuries, committing atrocities that rivaled or even surpassed those of the colonials. Even when uniting against the so-called "invaders" would have been in their best interests, they didn't do so.
If it wasn't for European colonization, there would still be wars between tribes going on today. You're welcome.--Conservateur 14:42, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

DO you have any sources to back that up?--Davyjones 14:54, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

I thought "scalping" was common knowledge. Do you really need me to give a source for the practice? Torture was so common among some tribes that it is became a mark of courage to endure it with no outcry. Maybe the 'courage' thing needs a reference, but *sheesh* can't you just go to Google when someone makes a point in a debate?
Are we airing our different points of view to find out how others think, or do we imagine a huge audience is watching to see who wins? --Ed Poor 19:55, 22 May 2007 (EDT)

Good to know that that rape and murder is something to be thankful for. So remember, the next time someone breaks into your home, kills you, rapes your wife, and carries your children off and sells them into slavery, you are supposed to thank them! No wonder people think conservatives are stupid and racist! They never miss a chance to prove they are!--Davyjones 15:04, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

Conservateur, moral equivocation doesn't make what colonists did either helpful, good, or justified in any way. Just because some of the tribes were at war with each other, or that they commited atrocities that "rivaled or even surpassed" those of the colonists, doesn't make it alright that we devastated them with disease, took any of their lands whatsoever, and commited any acts of violence for the goal of westward conquest. The fact is, colonists were the result of their decimated population, and the loss of their tribal lands, whether through sale or force, and that has to be recognized. And even if it was our intervention that stopped their warring (though clearly, that was not the goal when we set out to expand "our" country), it cost them more than any of their tribal conflics ever did. The natives got the short end of the bargain.--Stereophile 20:45, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

One almost does not know where to begin. As the above poster noted, it is hard to fathom why this question is even asked in 2007. Nervertheless, I will try to address some of the misconceptions I see above. Most native peoples did not practice human sacrifice. As for the person above who states that jative land was not stolen, I agree with the poster who challenged him to provide sources. I noticed that none were forthcoming. As for not uniting in the face of European invasion, you have to remember that Native Americans viewed themsleves as over 500 different nations. Would France, Spain, et. al. have united in the face of an invasion? I also wish to address the remark concering scalping. Around 1980 or so, James Axtell published an article in the William and Mary Quarterly called "The Unkindest Cut" that showed that scalping was a European innovation. European officals paid Indians a bounty for each enemy scalp they brought in. In the eighteenth century, on the Carolina frontier, colonists also collected these bounties. So, who really is the "savage" here? I do not agree with the rather forceful tone of davyjones, but posters on Conservapedia may want to consider this: Some of the things they post can be used against conservatives. If you post something that could be made out to sound "stupid" or "racist," I assure you, there is someone out there who will use it that way. Since what we want is to win people to the conservative side, think before you post. I'm not saying do not say what is on your mind, but think how it can boomarang on conservatives.--Lobo 12:35, 24 May 2007 (EDT)

That's the second time you've inserted that nonsense:
  • "Historical records, archaeology, and other sciences strongly indicate the practice [of scalping] originated among certain Native American tribes." [1]

Hardly nonsense, and this is a good opportunity to point out the limitations of relying on “scholarship” that appears on the internet. The quote you cite from Bray’s article uses the Axtell article (that Lobo refers to above) as its support. There is only one problem. The Axtell article does not support Bray’s contention. The rest of Bray’s article lists scalping incidents that occurred during the French and Indian War which occurred two and half centuries after initial contact between Europeans and Native people. It would really be a good idea to check the veracity of your sources. --McIntyre 11:10, 3 June 2007 (EDT)

Was the Roman colonization of Europe good for the native people?

Maybe yes or maybe no. The effect was that Europe became Roman just as Americans became westernized. We will never know, in both cases.--Roopilots6 19:29, 13 June 2007 (EDT)

Euro Colonization of the Americas: NO

I say no, it was not good for the native peoples. Quite simply because their numbers and identity as a seperate peoples are reduced to almost obscurity. No, it was not good for them. Even if they may have learned certain cultural and civil refinements from the Europeans, they have still been reduced to almost non-existence through disease, war, depletion of their resources, and cultural assimilation and inter-breeding. I'm not giving a good/bad opinion on this so please do not misconstrue it. Jros83 21:04, 22 June 2007 (EDT)


i'm gonna ride the fence, yes for those alive today, no for those that died along the way... :) --Wally 19:30, 26 June 2007 (EDT)